A Blue Morning
With all construction activity ordered to cease by Habitat for Humanity, I temporarily found myself with a much more flexible work schedule. In the second week of April or so our affiliate began work on a transition plan to finish the 5 houses in progress without the use of the volunteers, but for about two weeks we were largely in a holding pattern, trying to figure out new expectations. What work I did in these first few weeks was done from the RV out of an abundance of caution and without volunteers to supervise at whatever times in the day suited the task best. This flexibility allowed Abbs and I to take some morning walks both more extensive and at different locations than our usual 5am 3-miler around the neighborhood, one of which resulted in an interesting excursion in the Organ Mountains.
Located 10 miles east of Las Cruces, the Organs are a range I’ve hiked (and blogged about) dozens and dozens of times but that morning we not only took a slightly different route that offered some remarkable perspectives but we were blessed with some cool blue light tinging the rock and and valley. Starting out before the sky had barely began to lighten, Abbs and I commenced our ascent along an old jeep road, this portion of the route being a repeat of past adventures. Instead of turning near the mine and heading up one of the northside canyons however we decided to follow a steep game trail that morning, leading straight to the base of the monoliths that rise at the range’s crest. As we were approaching the granite spires I was tempted by the possibility of finding a path that would allow us to traverse the base and scramble up an easier slope, but the closer we came the more that maneuver seemed like an impossibility. We gave it our best though, crossing back and forth along the small ledge at the base of the sheer wall twice in hopes of finding a route, but appearances were deceptive in this case and we ended up turning back.
It was just as well we didn’t end up continuing however since the sun crested the pinnacles before we were halfway through the descent – ignaling it was time for me to get some work done. I’m still not convinced it’s impossible to ascend some of the lesser spires from this approach, but that adventure awaits for another day. As consolation we had a lovely morning with some dramatic light and views of extraordinary shadows across the Mesilla Valley.